Aabar Investments names Ipic investment chief as its new CEO

Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments says its new chief executive comes from the senior ranks of its parent company.

Aabar, which has US$17 billion in diverse assets, is almost wholly owned by the International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) of Abu Dhabi’s government.

The new chief executive of Aabar Investments, Mohamed Hamad Al Mehairi, joined Ipic in 2006. He has been Ipic’s long-serving head of investment evaluation and execution.


Mr Al Mehairi “has been responsible for successfully growing Ipic’s portfolio of investments over the past nine years, including Aabar”, said Suhail Al Mazrouei, the Energy Minister, who is also Ipic’s managing director and Aabar’s chairman.

Mr Al Mehairi, who spent nine years at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company after earning a finance degree from Surrey University in Boston, succeeds Mohamed Badawy Al Husseiny as Aabar’s leader. Mr Al Husseiny had been Aabar’s chief executive since 2010 and an executive with the fund since its inception in 2005.

He is leaving to join Trust Bridge, a private equity and merchant banking firm, as the chairman of its investment committee. He will also serve as a board member of the First Energy Bank in Bahrain.

Ipic, which was set up by Abu Dhabi’s government in the 1980s, focuses on energy investments and fully owns Spain-based energy company Cepsa and Canada-based Nova Chemicals. Ipic also has equity stakes in Borealis (a petrochemicals company), OMV, Cosmo Oil, and EDP Portugal.

Ipic began acquiring Aabar Investments in 2008 and has built that stake up to more than 98 per cent to date.

Aabar has a wider portfolio of investments covering more than 30 companies. They include real estate firms such as Arabtec and Palm Hills Development in Egypt, financial institutions such as Italian bank Unicredit and Malaysia’s RHB Banking Group, and commodities investments such as in Glencore, which went public in 2011 with Aabar as its largest minority investor.

According to Ipic, Aabar’s assets were valued at $17.2bn – or about 26 per cent of Ipic’s total assets of $66bn – down from $68bn in 2013 but up from $15bn in 2006.

Ipic accounts for a large portion of loans taken by Abu Dhabi’s government-related entities, although it paid down total loans to $29.9bn last year from $33.5bn in 2013.

Aabar accounts for 22 per cent of Ipic’s liabilities.

amcauley@thenational.ae

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